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Jewish Journal

Netanyahu’s Moment of Truth

by Rabbi John Rosove

January 2, 2014 | 7:33 am

Ari Shavit is among the most intelligent, fair-minded, and visionary of Israeli political commentators, and his piece in Haaretz (“Netanyahu’s Moment of Truth” - January 1, 2014) articulates as well as anyone could the challenge before Israel, before Israel’s Prime Minister, and before the Israeli government as Secretary Kerry presents a document to the Israelis and Palestinians this week that will include the recognition of a “Jewish state” within the 1967 borders with adjustments.

Shavit says that if Netanyanu and Abbas accept the principles of this document, this would be a Zionist victory and it would begin a restoration process that leads hopefully to a final two-states for two peoples end-of-conflict agreement, but also to an unprecedented international acceptance of Israel among the family of nations thus ending its growing pariah status.

The Prime Minister can take enormous credit for making the Iranian nuclear issue, the most important existential challenge to the existence of the state of Israel since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, front and center on the international agenda. His clarity and dogged determination to pressure the United States and the European powers to make Iran’s nuclear weapons program the most important and consequential foreign policy issue in the Middle East (indeed the world) is to be commended. The Jewish people owes him a profound debt of gratitude even before a real deal is signed between the West and Iran.

But, Israel has two central foreign policy challenges – the first is without doubt Iran's nuclear weapons program; the second is the achievement of a two-state solution – Both will determine the future security, viability and democracy of the Jewish state of Israel.

PM Netanyahu has wanted to be regarded as the Israeli Winston Churchill. This is his opportunity to be so regarded. I pray that he takes it and rises to be the world-class diplomat par excellence that Israel, the Jewish people and the western world badly need him to be.

Read Ari Shavit’s column - http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.566539

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